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Thursday, December 27, 2007

to waste your time, p2

While were’ on the topic of confessions,

Here’s a story about one time, when I worked for the government.

My day went something like this.


I woke up whenever I felt like it. I sauntered into the office, where I worked with four other people. These people were all real employees, with business cards and information on the webpage and name tags and private offices and all that good stuff. My job wasn’t like that.

My desk was nestled between the front door and the microwave. When I got into work, I would get straight to work by making hot water in the microwave. Then I would sit at my desk steeping hot tea, usually green, and watch as the little swirlies of tea sunk to the bottom of the hot water. Then I would check my work email, respond to any phone messages, and finish up any requests from the Boss. That all took about 15 minutes.

At this point I might go to the bathroom and sit on the pot sending text messages.

Then I might while away a couple hours alternating between e-mail and blogger. It worked nicely. In the time it takes to write a good blog post, you can usually scrape a few e-mails into the inbox. In the time it takes to respond to those I could usually count on some fellow bored-at-work types to post some interesting blog shit. It’s a convenient little cycle.

If there were any big races going on I might bring up the cyclingnews live coverage and refresh the page every two or three minutes – this makes the email/blogger cycle more complex but still manageable.

I would usually blog into a Microsoft Word document and then cut and paste later. That way it looked like I was actually working.

Sometimes I might spread some papers out on my desk and then pretend to be deep in thoughtful reading while I was really just napping with my eyes open.

At lunch time I would sit at my desk eating “and working”, but really I was just eating.

After lunch I would go wash my dishes. I took my time - you know, to make sure the dishes got really clean.

I might take it upon myself to take out the trash. I might sit out by the dumpster and talk on my cell phone for a little bit.

I would usually check my work email again in the afternoon. My inbox was always empty.

I would leave after four hours and thirty-one minutes. I might round up to five hours.

Let me tell you about my coworkers.

The secretary hated her job and wasn’t afraid to let everyone on the planet know it. I liked her, because she was good for bitch sessions when no one else was in the office. She knew all the ins-and-outs and loopholes and problems and gossip of the agency and had no intention to keep it to herself. She spent most of her time on the clock looking for a new job.

The new girl was fresh out of college and had that I’m-Professional-but-still-a-Hottie look going on. She wore designer clothes and heels (and was still 5’1”) and always had perfect hair and nails and gobs and gobs of make-up. (Who the hell has time for that???) She spent most of her time on the clock chatting with her friends on instant messenger and shopping online. Sometimes she planned imaginary vacations too.

The old guy had worked there since the stone age and made sure everyone knew it (“Well I’ve been working here for FORTY years, and…”) He was frumpy and balding with a little potbelly and hunched back. His favorite things to talk about were cooking (he claimed to be a great chef, even though his lunches always smelled like CRAP) and his girlfriend, who I am convinced was imaginary. He enjoyed frequently getting his panties all in a bundle over nothing, turning eight shades of florescent pink and screaming (yes, SCREAMING) at all of us to FUCK OFF! and then slamming his office door in fury. One time after one of his temper tantrums I quietly opened his office door to find him sitting at his desk writing an email to a friend about some casserole he was planning to make. Fuck off, indeed.

The Boss was a middle-aged motherly type who had an incredible knack for being completely oblivious to everything going on in the office. She would often come out of her office to announce “I have an important phone meeting, please don’t bother me” and then disappear into her office and close the door. You could usually bank on hearing her end of the “phone meeting” radiating through the door a couple minutes later, and it usually went something like this: “John! (name of husband) John! No, don’t you dare! Don’t you do that, John! I need to pick the girls up from school and… John! JOHN! God dammit, John! JOHN!” And then she would come storming out of her office and bark to us “I’ll be back in a few hours” and speed away in her shiny SUV.

This is what your tax dollars are being spent on. Pretty typical, I think.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your new job must be as easy as your last one based on the length of this post.

velogirl said...

T-dog?

Stevill said...

If you havent, I urge you to find the ReSearch book titled 'Sabotage in the American Workplace.'
Pure fucking genius.

martina said...

I think this is Trac.

Anonymous said...

Nice work, if you can get it!